Getting the 411 on New York

 
The Bellvale Farms Creamery–great views and even better ice cream
During our days off we did a little recon of the area.  We met a couple of police officers from Connecticut at this ice cream shop on top of Mt. Peter near Greenwood Lake, NY.  We overheard them trying to figure out how they were going to get to a deli at the bottom of the mountain in time to get a grinder and catch the bus back into the city.  They’d been out several days doing a section hike and they were starving.  
We introduced ourselves and offered to take them to the deli.  They were grateful for the ride.  We laughed about how we would never pick up strangers back home and we do it all the time here.  They said they don’t even do that in their patrol cars.
I didn’t catch the first guy’s name but he could talk a million miles an hour with the NYC accent.  He referred to his partner as Big Country.  They were helpful in telling us about the terrain in New York.  The trail is still rocky in New York, but not like in Pennsylvania.  On this side of the Hudson River they warned us of the rock walls.  There are several rock features that you have to negotiate up or down.  They aren’t high, but they are a pain and really slow you down.  Just inside the New York border Paul encountered “The Ladder”.  The pictures show an actual ladder leaning against a rock face.  However when Paul got there the ladder had been replaced with rebar hammered into the wall.  They look a bit like large staples and are intended to be used as steps.  Try climbing up that with a heavy backpack.  We heard later that the day after Paul hiked that section a hiker fell off of the ladder and broke his leg.  He layed there for two hours before anyone found him.  Nightmare!  
The other difference in New York is that for some reason they don’t do switchbacks.  The mountains may not be that high but they are pretty steep to have to walk straight up.  Both guys reassured us that the trail does get better once you cross the Hudson River.
We thanked the guys for the information.  Fortunately for them the bus stop was right in front of the deli.  They had an hour to enjoy their grinders before the bus got there.  I think Paul is now mentally prepared to tackle the walls of New York.  

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